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Autumn Done Right

Five ways to spend the perfect fall day

By Elizabeth Buelow September 10, 2009 Published in the October 2009 issue of Portland Monthly

1 Farm Tart

If there’s one dish that tastes of fall, it’s apple pie. For a unique take on this cool-weather staple, seek out the Farm Café’s open-face apple tart. Filled with Cox’s orange pippin apples fresh in from nearby Viridian Farms, the butter- drenched crust is liberally drizzled with Clear Creek apple brandy and ribbons of oozing caramel. A dollop of homemade vanilla ice cream adds a touch of tradition.
10 SE Seventh Ave; 503-736- 3276; thefarmcafe.com

2 Hop On

In salute to the autumn harvest, every batch of Hopworks Urban Brewery’s seasonal Fest of Fury beer is made with 40 pounds of fresh-picked Willamette Valley hops. But what really infuses the Fury’s flavor is brewmaster Christian Ettinger’s ability to temper the punchy hoppiness with subtle and delicious notes of toasted malt. Don’t be surprised if a sip stirs a memory of raising a stein in München. Prost!
2944 SE Powell Blvd; 503-232-4677; hopworksbeer.com

3 Costume Mama

Bid adieu to racks of run-of-the-mill witches and ghosts. Helen’s Pacific Costumers well of Halloween getups runs 10,000 deep. And should that oh-so-perfect Renaissance dress or monkey suit still manage to elude you, go custom with Helen’s on-site makeup artist and costume shop. It’s a good backup plan, considering they’re expecting a run on Michael Jackson outfits this year.
7501 NE Glisan St; 503-254-2005; helenspacificcostumers.com

4 Lodging Lore

We double-dog-dare you to stay at the McMenamins White Eagle Hotel. Along with chenille bedspreads, the 11 rooms here are filled with some creepy baggage. Built in 1905, above Portland’s infamous shanghai tunnels no less, the old brownstone is purportedly home to the restless ghost of a murdered prostitute. Take heart, though: the saloon downstairs is haunted by more intoxicating spirits—and some of the city’s best live music.
836 N Russell St; 503-335-8900; mcmenamins.com

5 Leaf Show

Our search for the city’s best picnic spot ended beneath Laurelhurst Park’s resident Katsura tree. Designated a Heritage Tree by the city, the Katsura has heart-shaped leaves that shimmer with fiery shades of orange, pink, and crimson each autumn; they release a heavenly aroma akin to caramel and cotton candy. Now that’s our ideal of sweet fall foliage.
Corner of SE 39th Avenue & Oak Street; the tree is clearly labeled.

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